Thankful For Sc3 On Thanksgiving

So, It’s Thanksgiving. This time serves as a moment to slow down our busy lives, be with family, and recollect on what we are thankful for. This Thanksgiving especially, Sc3 has not left my mind when thinking about things I am grateful for.

I am so fortunate to still be connected to many of my close friends from Sc3 after two years. They never fail to inspire me as I watch them in their environmental and advocacy journeys. They continue to inspire and encourage me to live for a cause and “stand tall like a mountain”. There are truly no words to express the love and gratitude I have towards this program and the incredible relationships it has brought me.

I think we can all agree on the uniqueness of the relationships formed at Sc3. A time where conservation nerds gathered together to share a passion, to lift each other up. I can still feel the empowerment and fire Sc3 and the students reignited. I like to think about our time on the Potomac River. The sun beaming down on our skin. The water splashing against the canoe. Smiles. Laughs. Singing. “Lights connecting to other lights”. That quote has never left me. The feeling of speaking in front of everyone the first day on a stage has never left me. The feeling of happiness as strangers became close friends. The feeling after our Open Space Technology Group performed. The feeling of waking up at  6am  to go mushroom hunting. The feeling of being in the middle of a circle, by a campfire, sharing our last moments together. The feeling of sitting on the bus for the last time with your new friends. The feeling of giving one last hug at the airport. These relationships I have formed have made me look at nature differently. This may seem a little odd, but I see our love and friendship cultivated around the environmental cause when I go outside. I think of all the conversations that have been had discussing our passions, projects, or even how to change certain policies. This feeling has solidified my desire to protect the earth. Not only are we protecting the place in which we live, but we are protecting the love, passion, and memories surrounding it. Protecting the mushrooms that we went to “hunt” for, protecting the Potomac River where we shared serenity and laughter, protecting the trees which shaded us from the hot West Virginian sun, protecting the birds we looked for while bird watching.

These memories are ingrained in my heart. Taking the time to slow down is imperative to recollect. Although Thanksgiving is a great time to do it and be grateful for memories, unconditional gratefulness needs to be something ingrained in our culture. The power of connection is unspeakable and keeping that alive is one of the most beautiful things. So, if there are people who come to mind while you read this. Leave this website right now and tell them how you feel about them. Tell them how much you love them, tell them how they’ve influenced your life, tell them you think about them while you walk outside. Never just think on something continuously, act on it. That’s what Sc3 taught me as well as my Sc3 “gang”. Whether you’re from India, Washington D.C., New York, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, or wherever you are, just know you have the power to greatly impact someone’s life through your passion, and you have all done that for me.

Blog Written by Grayson Pruett , High School Student from IL
Posted by Arlae Castellanos on Nov 22, 2018 7:26 PM America/Chicago

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Arlae, thanks so much for this warm remembrance of SC3. I took 15 students from Washington, DC and today all of them fondly remember and long for another opportunity to attend SC3. We have students who are now planning to be environmental science majors because of our time at SC3. In addition, we were able to connect with one of the SC3 leaders, Paul Taylor. Paul has volunteered with our program, talking to students about his environmental science major and his internship at DC Water. Paul is just an example of the wonderful youth and adults that my students still reminisce about when remembering SC3. I enjoyed seeing my students grow and be challenged in such a wonderfully diverse atmosphere of learning and caring. I have taken them on literally hundreds of field trips, including Disney World, and yet it is early morning and nighttime nature hikes, the great food, the canoes on the river and the dance and kindness of the youth there.

Kenneth Carroll, UPO Youth Services Division, Washington, DC
  • Posted Sat 08 Feb 2020 04:00 PM CST


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